IRL welcomes Alien Act amendment to exempt ICT professionals from immigration quota
The Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) welcomed the amendment to the Aliens Act adopted by the Riigikogu on Wednesday to facilitate the settling of foreigners in Estonia that can make a contribution to the local economy, in particular people active in the field of information and communication technology (ICT).
Andres Metsoja, member of the parliamentary group of IRL, said that the objective of the amendment was to facilitate the employment of highly paid people in Estonia, especially those active in ICT. For this reason, the field of ICT had been exempted from the immigration quota by law. The amendment will enter into force on Jan. 18 next year.
Metsoja pointed out that in 2013 the Interior Ministry under then-minister Ken-Marti Vaher, also a member of IRL, had initiated amendments to the Aliens Act aimed at attracting talented people that can give added value to the country’s society and economy.
“The first two stages of it have taken effect, and now the third stage set out with the regulation stepped into effect,” Metsoja said.
The next important changes envisaged for the law were the introduction of a special regulation for startup businesses, Metsoja added. This would make it easier for high-demand professionals to settle in Estonia, and also facilitate applying for a residence permit as a large-scale investor.
Immigration quota for 2017 set at 1,317 people
Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt (SDE) proposed on Thursday that the government endorse a quota of 1,317 people, which is 0.1% of the country’s permanent population, for immigration in 2017. The quota regulates only the number of third-country immigrants, with special exceptions such as the one aimed at ICT professionals mentioned above.
For 2012-2014, the government had set the limit at 0.075% of the permanent population, and raised it to 0.1% for 2015 and 2016.
Other exemptions from the quota include people applying for international protection or asylum, students, citizens of the United States and Japan, and those who are granted a permanent residence permit.